Press Release: 03.06.2018

Four Female Construction Professionals with McCarthy Selected to Serve on WiOPS Leadership Boards

images of women in construction

Continuing to lead the way for women in construction, four professionals with McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. were recently appointed to serve on leadership boards for WiOPS (Women in Construction Operations). Sarah Carr, vice president; Amanda Corbet, senior manager for contracts and community outreach; Sammi Shepherd, project manager; and Kelly Coogan, senior project manager, each hold leadership positions within this industry association.

Celebrating its five-year anniversary this year, WiOPS is a professional organization for women in construction operations focused on mentoring and advancing women in the building industry. Its founding Southern California Chapter has grown from 150 members in 2013 to nearly 600 members in 2018. In January 2018, the organization launched its second chapter in Northern California.

A WiOPS founder and former Southern California Chapter Board of Directors co-chairman (2013-2015) and treasurer (2016-2017), Carr is continuing in the role of treasurer for the organization’s seven-member Governing Board in Newport Beach, Calif.  

Corbet and Shepherd, also original founding members of WiOPS, are serving on the Southern California Board of Directors with five other members. Corbet, a board member since 2013, is events chair for a second term and Shepherd is secretary.  

Embarking upon her first year with the organization, Coogan is vice president of the newly established WiOPS Northern California Chapter. In this role, she is collaborating with seven other board members from prominent construction firms in Northern California.

According to statistics from the National Association of Women in Construction, in 2016, women made up only 9.1 percent (939,000) of the construction industry workforce in the United States, with just 31 percent (293,000) of that number in professional and managerial positions. Improving these numbers and bringing more women into the industry is a primary mission of WiOPS leadership, as well as the companies of many of its members.

While there are other industry organizations for women in construction, WiOPS is primarily focused on women in construction operations careers. The organization holds free monthly meetings for its members (both women and men), providing pertinent educational speakers, technical learning activities and access to female role models and mentors in managerial and executive positions within the construction industry.

“I am thrilled to see WiOPS growing and connecting the women in our industry,” noted Carr. “WiOPS helps women across the industry by providing mentoring by females and other crucial career advancement opportunities most of our members didn’t have before.

“Experiencing tremendous success in Southern California over the last five years, and now with 300 prospective new members at our Northern California launch, the WiOPS Governing Board will be looking at further opportunities for expansion into other regions throughout California and the U.S. We also plan to partner with like-minded industry organizations to reach more females within our industry.”

In addition to McCarthy women actively participating in WiOPS on the West Coast, McCarthy employees also participate in the McCarthy Partnership for Women. The Partnership for Women is a national resource group designed to further strengthen a company culture where the best women want to come, stay and grow in their careers, as well as to more effectively promote the industry to the future workforce. 

“Growing and retaining women in the construction industry is important on many levels,” said Coogan. “Our industry is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, and women are a significant population that is being underutilized. Additionally, by employing women and giving them leadership opportunities, the industry gains more diverse perspectives, which ultimately drives creativity and business growth. I’m excited to be a part of WiOPS along with my colleagues at McCarthy. Together, we can create a stronger construction workforce.”

For more information about WiOPS membership or to sign up to attend a meeting in Southern or Northern California, please visit

About McCarthy

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 15th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2017). With approximately 1,900 salaried employees and offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Portage, Ind.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee-owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+.  

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